Friday 18 June 2010

Inverary Castle at Auction

At Mitchells Auctioneers in Station Road, Cockermouth in Cumbria on 24 June a stitched Inverary Castle in Scotland could be yours. Stitched by Catharine Murray (and Janet Anderson?) in 1826 the sampler measures 17 ins x 20 ins. It is interesting that the sampler has a large flower border at the top and paired urns of flowers in each lower corner that although typically Scottish belong to a period 100 years earlier. Perhaps you can just make out the rows of paired initials that identify the maternal and paternal forbears. The lot number is 773 and the estimate for this cloth is £1,000 to £1,500

Also Scottish are these two samplers of 1833 by Janet Gray, both approximately 8" x 72 in oak frames. The paired initials are much more to the fore on these cloths. They are being auctioned by McTear's of Glasgow on 26 June with an estimate of £60-£80 the pair and their lot number is 324.
Now is your chance to inspect the back of an early sampler for yourself. This sampler with its colours still bright is being auctioned by Brightwell's of Leominster on 30 June is sadly unframed and 'sadly unfinished' hence the estimate of of just £100-£150. The auctioneers have dated it 18th century but it could be earlier. Lot number is 338.
This last item is something of a dark horse - to say the least! It is a very dirty and damaged cloth, but it is a cloth with the magic name of Ackworth upon it. At first I couldn't read the inscription, but Jessica at Wilkinson's Auctioneers in Doncaster has been really helpful. The text reads: Honour thy father with the whole heart/And for get not the sorrows of thy mother/How canst thou recompense them the things that /They have love for thee. it is signed: Mary Conway, Aged 11 Ackworth. November 3, 1791. I checked the Ackworth School register and Mary is not listed as a scholar so this looks like a cloth made locally in the village, but under the influence of Ackworth School with those special ligatured lower case-letters, and also the upper-case letters - a practice that did not last long at the school. Towards the upper right of the sampler you will also see a ligatured ct. Click on the image for a larger version. The estimate for this sampler is £100-£150 and it is lot number 241 for auction on 27 June.

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  1. The 'sadly unframed and sadly unfinished' sampler appeals to me the most! Is there any way I could see a close up pic? I couldn't access the sale on the auction site....

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  3. Brightwell's say they are just updating their catalogue - so you will probably be able to get a better look when they are done.